Name: Kim Likins
Years living in area: 15 years
Family: Steven Likins, husband; Ben Likins, son, 14; Alex Likins, son, 10.
Education: University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, bachelor of arts in communications and public relations (double major)
Current occupation, employer: Executive director, Main Street Youth Theatre
Previous employment: Employed by McKesson Corporation, a Fortune 100 health care software-development corporation for 10 years. Throughout her career, she held a variety of team leadership, staff and upper management positions involving a wide range of responsibilities, including new business operations and executive sales. Of particular note, she successfully executed the company's largest sales contract of the year, bringing in revenues of over $16 million.
In 2003, Likins formed a publishing company with the objective of writing children's books highlighting Hilton Head Island's unique environment and inhabitants. "Charlie's Perfect Day" sold over 5,000 copies in its first year of publication. Her second book, "Charlie's Special Friends," was a 2004 Southeaster Bookseller's Children's Book of the Year nominee. Kim was honored by The Island Packet in its annual Today's Woman special edition, featuring intriguing women of the year, and in 2006 her company was named the Hilton Head Island SCORE New Business client of the year.
Was participant in grassroots organization dedicated to opening an educational, interactive children's museum for the families and visitors of Hilton Head Island. In 2005, the doors of The Sandbox Children's Museum opened with Likins serving as its first executive director. Two years later, she received the Hilton Head Island Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution's "Excellence in Community Service" award for her efforts in helping to bring The Sandbox to fruition. In addition to her ongoing involvement with The Sandbox, Likins currently is executive director of Main Street Youth Theatre, another Hilton Head Island nonprofit organization.
Military history: None
Volunteer history: Likins is an active member of St. Andrew By the Sea United Methodist Church, where she teaches Sunday school, works with the youth and has served on the administrative board. She is currently a member of the board of directors of Hilton Head Christian Academy and is chairwoman of the board of The Sandbox Children's Museum. She is a past board member of the Hilton Head Island Advisory Board of the MUSC College of Nursing, where she secured the college's largest-ever in-kind donation. She also served on the board of First Presbyterian Day School and as president of its Parent's Association.
Public elected offices: None
Any unsuccessful political campaigns: None
Other political and government experience: None
Endorsements received: Julius Scott, president emeritus Paine College, board member of the Penn Center and the Coastal Discovery Museum; Jean Fraser, Hilton Head Island resident, Hilton Head Island Advisory Board for the MUSC College of Nursing; Mrs. John C. (Lois) West, former Palmetto Dunes resident; Jim and Claudia Gant, Palmetto Dunes residents; Jack Daly, Forest Beach resident, owner of the Frozen Moo Ice Cream Shop, president of the Forest Beach Owners Association; Kathy Brennan, Leamington resident, Sandbox employee; Norm and Andi Argast, former Palmetto Dunes residents, Sandbox board members; John Krecker, Palmetto Dunes resident, SCORE Business client counselor; David Renaker, Hilton Head Island resident, chief banking officer and executive vice president of Bank Meridian; Barry Bryan, Hilton Head Island resident, owner of Fortress Residential Inc., Main Street Youth Theatre board chairman, former Sandbox board chairman
S.C. Ethics Commission statement of economic interests: Husband is full owner of Hilton Head Timeshare Resales
Campaign money raised: None disclosed as of candidate's last filing Aug. 10
Top three campaign contributors over past six months (amount): None disclosed
1. Why should people vote for you?
I have over 25 years of accomplishments within a large corporation, a small-business start up and local nonprofits. My ability to implement solutions, along with my strength in developing strong interpersonal relationships has contributed to a lifetime of achievements that have yielded significant results. Many wonderful ideas have surfaced regarding Hilton Head Island's pathway to the future. The challenges will be in selection and execution, and that is my strength.
2. What are the three most important issues you would address if elected and how would you address them?
Environmental preservation. Residents and tourists value the beautiful natural setting of Hilton Head Island. This must be preserved through thoughtful use of town properties and sensible regulation. I also think that we need a long-term strategy and plan for funding beach nourishment. It is our greatest asset according to both residents and tourist alike. I support continued land bank purchases and planned public gathering places. Development of the town-owned property on the former Smokehouse site should entice people to gather, play and enjoy the natural setting and serve host to community events for the south end.
Planned revitalization. Continued prosperity for Hilton Head Island is closely tied to keeping it attractive. I will support changes to the Land Management Ordinance that will make it easier for refurbishing and enhancing existing properties. As suggested in the Mayor's Task Force report, we need to create a master redevelopment plan that defines specific redevelopment strategies. The plan needs to detail key areas in need of redevelopment and re-investment zones where revitalization should occur. The town must actively encourage and facilitate redevelopment in these areas.
Economic development. For the past 15 years or so, the town has been focused on limiting growth and development. Times have changed and we must now concentrate on increasing our business base. I will push for more attention on economic development, which includes attracting corporate events and growing business opportunities beyond regional tourism. We need to establish an "economic development" focus within the town's existing Community Development Department to promote, advocate and facilitate development of new business opportunities.
3. What other issues do you see as important?
Continued focus on recycling to ensure that commercial and visitor recycling is initiated island-wide, similar to residential recycling is a critical next step. I also believe as we begin to define Hilton Head Island's future strong emphasis should be placed upon interactive family experiences. Mitchelville offers exciting possibilities for enlightening and educational opportunities of this type. And finally, it will be imperative that we take the necessary steps to ensure that excellent cell phone and 3G network coverage is available for all residents and guests of Hilton Head Island.
4. What specific steps will you take to make government more open and accessible to the public?
I will propose culture and process changes in town government that promotes a partnership approach and a service attitude. We must engage property owners associations, residents, local businesses, and government to meet the challenges that lie before us. Specific to my constituents, I will keep available at all times my firstname.lastname@example.org e-mail for input and feedback, as well as offer specific times to gather together so that we can exchange thoughts and ideas one on one.
5. Have you ever been convicted of a crime (felony), been disciplined by a professional licensing board or organization or had an ethics violation filed against you? If so, please give details.
6. Have you ever filed for bankruptcy, been delinquent on your federal, state or local taxes? If so, please give the details.
7. Are there any personal details about yourself that voters would be interested in knowing?
Both of my sons play tournament tennis and I am one of their biggest fans. I love the fact that they are willing to put themselves on the line and compete. I always tell them that win or lose if they have overcome an adversity, gained a new skill, or met a new friend they are winners in the truest sense of the word. It is never easy to step out into unchartered waters. I remember well fearing the feeling of rejection when I first introduced my children's books, as well as when we unveiled our hopes for opening The Sandbox. Fortunately, the desire to do something new and different along with the hope of making a difference, pushed me forward. I have been blessed with a lifetime of wonderful opportunities to learn and grow through work, community service and family. Through these experiences I have gained new perspectives, deeper understanding, and greater appreciation for all that life has to offer. I look forward to continuing the journey.